November, 2008

3
Nov 08

Broken voice

My voice breaking was largely a non-event. I think I croaked a little for five minutes, but then couldn’t really tell too much of a difference. By far the biggest news of the whole thing was me realising that I could no longer squeal at the same pitch as before.

Until then I had a fun, very high pitched squeal. I used to entertain myself by hiding behind walls when dog walkers were near and letting out a few bursts. The results were varied, but usually amusing – some dogs loved it and immediately tried to find me, sometimes dragging their owners behind them, some ignored it altogether while some would bark furiously at me, a tree or their owners. Heehee. If you’re of a suitable age, I recommend giving it a go, you might be able to do it too.


3
Nov 08

Tracksuit

When I was a young lad – primary school age – my parents bought me a new Rangers tracksuit. I wasn’t particularly into football, but my dad was a Ranger fan so it was cool in my eyes! I wore it to school for sports the next day, as proud a new parent. My superior feeling of cool only lasted until it was revealed to me that my tracksuit was in fact a set of pyjamas, made from that sort of toweling material. I was suitably absused all day and returned home deeply unhappy with my parents.


3
Nov 08

And so it begins again…

I spent a lot of my youth biking in the Garleton Hills. The Gallies are where I cut my off-road teeth, as well as having all sorts of other little adventures. So, while I was visiting my Mum, I decided to get out up to the Gallies to bed in some new parts for a few hours.

Aside from the simple pleasure of riding my newly cleaned mountain bike with a brand new transmission in lovely weather, I wasn’t having a great ride. Having not ridden off-road since my trip to Italy and France with Dave made me quite amazed how my youthful enthusiasm had kept me biking so much, with only East Lothian as my playground.

I decided to head round to the Monument to get a few runs in, figuring that I’ll at least enjoy some road miles, if nothing else. As I was climbing, nearly at the top, a young lad in a full face helmet started heading down. He stopped to let me past, before shouting to his dad, who was filming from the top of the monument, and shooting off down. I immediately thought of my Mum and some of our antics.

One freezing and howling mid-winter day I dragged her up Traprain Law. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t manage to convince her to abseil with me, but she did a magnificent job of belaying me, while I played around with some tricky moves on the micro-cliffs at the top of the law.

Back at the Monument, I went a different way and then headed back up, about the same sort of time as my armoured compadre. He came over and we had a chat about the trails. He’d just ridden the trail that Karl and I built about twelve years ago and we drifted onto the topic of trail building – he’s spotted the same lines we had and is thinking of building them up. He’s from Haddington too and was bemaoning the lack of good biking in East Lothian. I considered telling him about one or two of the good lines in the Lammermuirs, but decided not to. They’re easy enough to sniff out and finding things like that yourself always seems to give a little more pleasure, I think.

So, it seems like the cycle is complete. The next generation are there and getting in about it and all on the same day that I realised just how desperate the situation is. That rather appeals to me and I’ll be strangely happy if that’s the last time I ride there.